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Advances in Forensic DNA Quantification: A Review

NCJ Number
Electrophoresis Volume: 35 Issue: 21-22 Dated: November 2014 Pages: 3044-3052
Date Published
November 2014
9 pages
This review focuses upon a critical step in forensic biology: detection and quantification of human DNA from biological samples.

Determination of the quantity and quality of human DNA extracted from biological evidence is important for several reasons. Firstly, depending on the source and extraction method, the quality (purity and length), and quantity of the resultant DNA extract can vary greatly. This affects the downstream method as the quantity of input DNA and its relative length can determine which genotyping procedure to usestandard short-tandem repeat (STR) typing, mini-STR typing, or mitochondrial DNA sequencing. Secondly, because it is important in forensic analysis to preserve as much of the evidence as possible for retesting, it is important to determine the total DNA amount available prior to utilizing any destructive analytical method. Lastly, results from initial quantitative and qualitative evaluations permit a more informed interpretation of downstream analytical results. Newer quantitative techniques involving real-time PCR can reveal the presence of degraded DNA and PCR inhibitors that provide potential reasons for poor genotyping results and may indicate methods to use for downstream typing success. In general, the more information available, the easier it is to interpret and process the sample, resulting in a higher likelihood of successful DNA typing. The history of the development of quantitative methods has involved two main goalsimproving precision of the analysis and increasing the information content of the result. This review covers advances in forensic DNA quantification methods and recent developments in RNA quantification. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: November 1, 2014